Today’s guest post comes from Stella Myers, a writer I met in an online writing group. Stella blogs over at Something’s On My Mind, where I hope you’ll go read some of her posts about writing, traveling, and life lessons. Stella has been one of the most encouraging voices in my brief writing career and I am honored to bring you her guest post today – a thank you letter to a one of a kind friend.
Thank you, Floraine
Over fifty years later I can still hear you tell me how to spell your name. You said Loraine with an F. I promptly spelled it Florraine. You kindly said,“ One r, Stell.” Could I help it if my Lorraine used two r’s?
We met when we were new mamas in the hospital room being awakened at 6:00 AM for communion from the hospital priest.
Well, you got communion, I just got closed off with the curtain, because I was one of those passionate Protestants who had sex and got babies, not a good Catholic who was increasing the church! Your words, not mine.
You weren’t excited about washing your face and being ready for the priest and the Holy Meal at 6:00 AM, but you weren’t given a choice and usually by then were visited with breakfast and then babies.
We got acquainted across the room over the heads of our newborns. We deepened our friendship as we walked to the lounge and waved out the window to your two little girls standing on the sidewalk.
We talked of everything. You were worried to stand up the first time after they took out the stitches from your C section. You thought your insides would fall out. They didn’t.
We shared our concern for the roommate (there were four of us) that had given birth to a Down’s Syndrome baby. She was beset with priests, sisters, and family on what to do. You kept up with her for a while, I didn’t.
You taught me compassion and love for others.
Over time, we shared when our babies teethed, yours at six weeks, mine at 18 months. Yeah, mine were slow. You were disappointed that yours had teethed so early. You were looking forward to breast feeding for six months at least, but teeth and breast feeding did not go hand in hand, so he met the bottle.
We shared square dancing, teen-agers, and laughter.
We moved away, but we each learned the other was a letter writer. I loved your letters. Probably one of my favorites was after we had lost most of our belongings in a house fire and I had asked for recipes you had given me earlier. You said that you were sitting at the table typing the recipes and a letter while your mother was reading her paper and probably thinking what a great friend you were writing such a long letter! Little did she know that four pages were recipes!
We began as friendly acquaintances and ended nearly forty years later when God called you home. Though you are home in Heaven, I feel you with me every day.
I miss your humor (my kids thought you were Erma Bombeck in the flesh), your love and your smile. Every. Single. Day.
I will never forget your Christmas light display you were going to put up. It would be a spotlight on your empty gazebo with a sign saying, “ No room in the Inn”.
As I sit here punching the keys to write this I remember how one of your sons tried to convince you that you needed a computer to keep your recipes in because it would be so handy. You told him you had your recipes handy right there: in your recipe box and you could take them out whenever you wanted.
I love you dearly, miss you most sincerely.
Your friend – Stell